All Your Base Are Belong To Us

Gareth Branwyn garethb2 at EARTHLINK.NET
Sat Mar 3 04:43:22 UTC 2001

The "viral" nature of these sorts of pop phrases is amazing. All of a
sudden *everyone* is using this. This week alone, two people used the
phrase in email and one on the phone today. The phrase was sampled and
used in several techo tunes circulating on Napster (and there's a techno
band using the name), which is likely one of the reasons it has recently
become so widespread.

There's even a term "AYB content" for "detourned" images and text with
"All Your Base Are Belong To Us" themes. This phenomenon reminds me of
the silly "Ate My Balls" Web craze started in the summer of '96.
Seemingly overnight, hundreds of pages popped up with tasteless, unfunny
content built around the phrase (Mr. T Ate My Balls -- the original,
Bill Gates Ate My Balls, Aliens Ate My Balls, College Ate My Balls,


Tony Glaser wrote:
> Is anyone familiar with the "All Your Base Are Belong To Us"
> phenomenon? Is this the first time that a mistranslated Japanese
> phrase has entered the English language world in such a big way? I've
> seen various items of Japanese English pseudo-nonsense, mainly
> written on cheap backpacks, carrier bags, or sneakers, but I haven't
> seen any which have been promulgated by native English speakers as a
> result. It seems it's really becoming a catch-phrase.
> (If not, check out articles at
> or the baffling thing itself at
> Tony Glaser

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